Sunday, 19 September 2021

Trust in God

 


 

If I were to ask people, “Do you trust in God?” I think most of them would say, “Yes, of course. I trust in God. I trust Him with everything!”

But if that's the case then why are you going around looking so miserable and so anxious all the time? Surely this doesn't go hand in hand with trusting God.

You see … the way I see it, you can't possibly believe in God and not trust Him. Not believing in God is one thing. A lot of people say “I don't believe in God”.

That's one thing.

But believing in God and doubting His ability to help you. Doubting His love for you and His willingness to help you, is another thing much, much worse.

Because you believe in God but … ummmm … I’m not so sure that He's listening to my prayers. I’m not so sure He wants to answer my prayers anyway.

It's as if it's a double sin in a way. You believe in God but you're not so sure that He cares and loves you.

Let me tell you about a priest I knew a long time ago. Let's call him Father A.

Father A was always calm serene peaceful and nothing used to stir him at all. He's been long dead now. May he rest in peace.

I always wondered how that priest was always so calm. Not only did he believe in God obviously, but he was certain that God looked after him, and he trusted God totally.

I remember a story where once we had to take a number of folk out on an outing for the weekend. We needed a van for this and someone had loaned us their van. It was a 12-seater; so it was just about right to take these old folk out for an outing.

The evening before, Father A and I went out to collect that van. When I saw it I must admit I had my doubts. The van looked old. A little bit tatty and rusty, and I doubted whether it could run at all. But the owner of the van said, “no, it's okay, it is roadworthy and it will work all right!”

We took the van and on our way that evening back to church the van broke down. It would not work at all. Father A, who was driving, tried the engine once or twice. Tried to turn it on … nothing … totally dead. The car would not start.

I left the priest there. I went to the nearest telephone kiosk and rang a mechanic I knew.

Half an hour later the mechanic turned up and he tried to get the engine to start … nothing at all. He looked under the bonnet … pressed this … and pressed that … and pulled this and pulled that … you know how mechanics are? And nothing happened. That car would not start.

So Father A got out of the driving seat and said, “hold on … let me try something else”.

He put his hand on the bonnet and closed his eyes and stood there silent for about a minute or so, and then he told the mechanic to start the engine and it started first time.

I was amazed. I just did not know what happened. My mind was just totally dumbfounded. We got in the car and Father A drove the van to the church followed by the mechanic in his car just in case the car … the van … broke down again.

It worked all right. The next day, being a Saturday, we took the old folk out on the outing. We enjoyed the day and we came back. The van worked perfectly.

Now I don't know about you but I’m still puzzled to this day as to what happened that evening to a van that was totally dead and the mechanic could not start it.

But a silent prayer from Father A, full of trust, got that van working and we had a good weekend out with the old people.

So I asked you again … Do you believe in God? More importantly … Do you trust Him totally?

Thank you for listening. God bless.

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Desperate Prayer

 

 
 Each one of us has a different way of praying. Some may recite the Lord's Prayer, the Hail Mary or the Rosary. Others like to recite favourite prayers from their favourite Saints; and some people like to just talk to God and tell Him how they feel. To thank Him and to ask for their needs.

But what happens when events in your life turn it all upside down and things are out of control? When you've been praying and praying for days, weeks and even months and nothing seems to change? When life is more than you can actually handle at the moment? And you're so tired, so desperate and so confused that you can't pray any more?

You don't know how to pray or what to pray. And you’re just too tired and too exhausted and perhaps your faith has taken a battering and a shattering.

What do you do then? Is it all right to turn to God and tell Him just that?

“God, I am fed up. I can't handle it any more. I don't know what to pray and whether or not you are listening. And if you're listening, I know you can help me if you want to, but I don't know whether you want to. I'm confused.”

Is it alright to say this to God?

I believe it is.

If we see God as a loving Father, as a friend, there is nothing wrong in actually telling Him how we feel. He knows how we feel anyway.

So by telling Him we are actually accepting and admitting His omnipotence and His love for us and we are actually asking for His help in our hour of desperate need and confusion.

There's nothing wrong in that. God is big enough to take it. God has already taken our anger on the cross did He not? So He will not be surprised or upset if we tell it as it is.

“God I can't handle it any more. I don't know what to ask you any more. I don't know how to pray any more. I'm just too tired. Please help me!”

I believe in such an honest prayer with nothing held back; a prayer from the heart, God will listen.

God is listening and in His time, in His way, He will help us. That's the bit that confuses us all the time.

In His time in His way He will help us.

All we need to do is to trust Him. Of course it's difficult when our faith has had quite a beating. When we're in trouble and we can't see a way out. But we need to hold on to that faith; even though all physical signs around us are that we are helpless.

Oh, and one more thing. Never underestimate the prayers of others. Prayer is the greatest gift we can give other people, and we can receive from other people. So when we are tired and we can't pray any more, we need to ask other people to pray on our behalf and to ask them to put in a good word for us with God … if you want to see it that way.

Thank you for listening. God bless.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Doctor Check-Up

 

I took this old gentleman to the doctor for his regular check-up. Nothing serious. Just a check-up. He lives in a Senior Citizens Home, and despite his age he is as sharp as a button. Great brain and intellect.

When we got there, as usual, he asked me to stay with him for the doctor's consultation. This time it was not the usual doctor. A new one aged about forty or so.

He introduced himself as the new doctor and said, "You know ... as we get older, we all have lapses in memory. We tend to forget things. Does this happen to you often?"

The old man replied promptly, "No ... never ... I don't have a problem with my memory. In fact I can tell you who is our Prime Minister. It is either Churchill ... or that other fellow ... Presley, I think ... yes ... probably Elvis Presley. We had an election recently you know!"

I was about to intervene when the old man glanced at me sideways as if to say, "Keep out of it!"

I said nothing.

The doctor mumbled, "I see ... the Prime Minister is either Winston Churchill or Elvis Presley!"

At which the old man said, "Have the visitors been yet?"

I thought the man was losing his marbles. A few sandwiches short of a picnic. Why was he behaving like that?

The doctor asked, "Visitors?"

To which the old man continued, "Yes ... we get visitors in the afternoon after lunch. Have we had lunch? Because I'm still hungry!"

The doctor wrote a few notes in his book and then asked, "Tell me ... imagine we had a bath here full of water; and I asked you to empty it using a spoon or a cup. Which would you use?"

The old man thought a little and asked, "Which carries more water?"

The doctor said, "the cup of course!"

"Funny that," said the old man, "I would just pull the plug and see all the water drain through the plug hole ... more efficient that way!"

The doctor was about to say something. The old man raised his hand and said, "One moment Doctor. My friend here has something to tell you!"

I explained that the old man was as sane as anyone else. The only reason he is in an old peoples' home is because he has some physical difficulty. In fact he used to be a doctor and is well aware of all these cognitive tests.

The rest on the consultation went all right.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

These lips

 

 These lips are made for talkin'

And that's just what they'll do

One of these days these lips are gonna talk all about you
 

Thoughtless comments. Careless whispers. Repeated gossip. The meaningful "tut ... tut ..." said innocently yet hiding many a hurt.

How wounding are those seemingly blameless lips when they utter words without thinking; or perhaps maliciously intentionally so.

Whether said in jest, whether said in all seriousness, or whether said deliberately, under oath even, those lips can do more harm than the sharpest sword.

  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour


Wednesday, 15 September 2021

My dog is on Twitter

My dog has joined Twitter.

He has just tweeted the following:

"Went for a walk. Did a poo. Victor picked it up. LOL!"

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Lost,

 

I was reading the parable of the lost coin the other day (Luke 15:8) and my thoughts wandered ... what is the greatest loss that one can experience in this world?

A trinket or gift of great sentimental value?

An expensive item of jewellery or such like?

Great sums of money?

Or is it the loss of a loved one?

I concluded that for a Christian the greatest loss is the loss of one's Faith.

I am often saddened by the number of people I meet who say they no longer believe in God. They have lost Faith for some reason or another. Some loose Faith because of personal illness or because of the death of a loved one which they can't come to terms with. Others loose Faith for no apparent reason at all. I suspect that in a technologically advanced age they find it difficult to believe or relate to a super-natural omnipotent God. Especially if they have never felt His presence or experienced His love.

I suspect that another reason for losing Faith is perhaps the shortage of good Christian role models. People who set a good example of how to be Christ-like.

When you think about it, we are all role models in some way or another; whether we are parents, teachers, preachers or whatever. We are all unwittingly setting an example for others to emulate.

The magnitude of this responsibility frightens me. Being a Christian is not as easy as it looks !!!

Monday, 13 September 2021

The Lion

 

I was walking in the park and I saw a lion. He ran in front of me. From the left to the right. Got out of one bush and ran right across into another.

I had to inform somebody. I ran to the nearest public phone box and searched the telephone directory. I could not find the Missing Lions Bureau; in case someone had lost a lion. I phoned the first official looking phone number.

Within minutes a car drew up and out came two men in uniform. One was tall and thin, the other one short and rotund. I could not tell who was who because they kept moving around.

They did not believe my story. They said I saw a big dog. I assured them it was a lion. I can tell the difference between a lion and a dog - it is spelt differently.  

They took no chances. They alerted someone else. Within minutes they sealed off the area and started searching the park; assuming the lion was still there and had not moved to a nearby fast food outlet or restaurant for a meal.

There were men in different uniforms everywhere. Some were carrying big butterfly nets. Others were on horses with lassos. Others had tranquilliser darts and other lion capturing instruments. A man was selling mouse traps. The mice were so scared they threw themselves on the traps.

There were helicopters flying overhead searching in case the lion took to the air. They had road blocks everywhere and they searched all cars in and out of town. Also all ports and airports. People were asked to empty their pockets to ensure they were not hiding a fugitive lion.

Vans with loudspeakers warned everyone if they see a lion not to approach it in case it is dangerous. They advised people to go indoors, or hide behind a tree, and phone the authorities.

They contacted all zoos to check if any lions were missing. The nearest zoo to us is 50 miles away. The zoos started a lions head-count. They counted lions, as well as tigers, pumas, cheetahs, panthers, lynxes, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters and any other creatures likely to be mistaken for a lion. None were missing. However, they discovered that a zoo attendant was having an affair with a waitress in a cupboard in the store-room!

With all this commotion around town, I went to church and started praying about the lion and hoping it would harm no one.

That is when I heard a voice. Very clear in my head. 

It said, "Do not worry my son. I have often mistaken that dog for a lion, Myself!"